The holidays aren’t just hectic and crazy for you. The noise, the people, the sounds and smells can all affect your pet and their daily routine as well. The holidays are a stressful time, but humans aren’t the only species who experience increased anxiety during the “most wonderful time of the year”—our pets often feel the pain of the holidays, too.
It’s important to keep up with their routine. Try to make sure your pet sticks to their usual eating and walking schedule so there can be some semblance of normal in their lives during these exciting times. Find time to give your pet some individual attention and TLC, too. Let them know that, even if you’re busy and preoccupied, they’re still your best furry pal. You may find some relaxation in this quality time as well.
Next up, get up and get out! Just like with humans, pets experience physical and emotional benefits from exercise. Escape the family visitors and take a walk, give your pet a food puzzle, or engage in a good old-fashioned game of tug of war with your pet’s favorite rope toy. Bonus: Exercising and playing with your pet will grow your bond and help to mitigate your holiday stress, too.
Finally, give them some space if you feel that they need it. If there is a lot happening in your home on a particular day, create a quiet safe space for your pet where they can get away from it all. Provide your pet with a place all her own, where visitors can’t disturb them. Find a quiet bedroom or walk-in closet and put a few of their favorite things there:
- Calming music
- A pheromone diffuser (or spray pheromones on her bed there)
Your pet will be so happy that they have their own little “escape fort” to spend some time.
If you would like to talk to our veterinary team about techniques and medications that can help relax your pet, please don’t hesitate to reach out!